How Wisconsin Is Ready for the November 3, 2020 Election

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INTRODUCTION

How Wisconsin is Ready for the November 3, 2020 Election: After the April 7, 2020 Presidential Primary election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission committed to complete an analysis of the election, learn as much as we could from our mistakes and successes, develop a plan to improve the process, and show how Wisconsin is ready for the November 3, Presidential Election.

This report demonstrates how the State of Wisconsin Elections Commission has prepared for the November 3, 2020 Presidential and General Election. Preparations for this election have been underway for the last four years. From cybersecurity initiatives, development of training for Wisconsin's 1,922 local election partners, and the attention to voter usability and information on the mechanics of democracy, we have been carefully planning for the 2020 election cycle. This important groundwork was laid prior to April 2020, allowing us to quickly reinvent and repurpose election administration technology and resources amid a global pandemic. The preparations were also required to be made within the parameters of the law. The Wisconsin Elections Commission cannot change legal requirements or change dates, deadlines, or procedures prescribed in the Wisconsin elections statutes. While adhering strictly to laws that may not have been written to account for an election in a pandemic may be a source of contention, upholding these laws is of utmost importance to ensure elections are conducted with fairness and in accordance to the standards determined by the Wisconsin legislature and state constitution.

WEC staff have dissected the April election to learn all we can to prepare for November. We have analyzed the absentee- by-mail process from every angle. That analysis can be found in the April 7 Election Summary and Next Steps Report and the April 7 Absentee Ballot Report which were published in April and May, respectively. (https://elections.wi.gov/ index.php/node/6908.) In light of those findings, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has prepared and adapted our technology, training, and voter information for November. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has also reinvented our technology, training, and voter information to meet the needs of a new world that we could not have imagined a mere six months ago. We have also analyzed the April election and found that our state maintains a solid and diverse elections infrastructure consisting of high-tech cybersecurity and the low-tech resiliency and resourcefulness of Wisconsin election officials.

The State of Wisconsin Elections Commission cannot administer the November election alone. There are 1,850 city, village, and town election officials who are registering voters, issuing absentee ballots, recruiting, and training poll workers, and planning for safe voting. There are 72 county election officials who are preparing and printing ballots and securing their websites for election night results. In November there will be nearly 2,500 polling places requiring more than 30,000 poll workers. More than 3 million eligible Wisconsin voters are expected to participate in the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election. Fair elections in our state are the responsibility of every Wisconsinite. We share the responsibility to have enough poll workers and supplies to adequately run safe polling places in each of our communities. We share the responsibility to question misinformation and to seek facts about how our elections are run. It is because of the efforts we each make in these roles that Wisconsin is prepared for a fair and safe election on November 3.

We have also heard from Wisconsin voters that they do not want to simply hear that we are prepared for the November election - they demand to see how we are prepared, how we will ensure fair, free, and secure elections. The Wisconsin Elections Commission staff believes that transparency is the cornerstone of democracy. We believe Wisconsin's voters have the right to know the details of what makes their elections fair. This report details the preparations the State of Wisconsin has made to demonstrate we are ready.

Please download the full report attached above.